Question – Where in the world will you find Tropical Jungles, Ancient Ruins, and Emerald Seas all at one place?
Answer – Tulum, Mexico.
Tulum is a bohemian beach town located less than 2 hours south of the popular resort city of Cancún in Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
This town is famous for is laid back and backpacker atmosphere, giving a feeling of Mexican beach town – a stark contrast to the very commercial resort zone in Cancún! Tulum is a perfect place to just relax on the beach, sip a cocktail or two and enjoy Mexican food.
However, the major attraction that draws tourists from the region are the Mayan Ruins here. This is a unique archaeological site, as it is sandwiched between the Carribean Sea and the Tropical Yucatan Jungle.
Tips for Visiting Tulum Ruins
Tulum Ruins are relatively small and can be covered in just 2 hours. Many people visit Tulum Ruins as part of a day tour from Cancún. But this means you arrive at the site along with hoards of tourists around 10am. So the best option is to arrive at Tulum just before the opening time of 8am. For this, either you start early from Cancún or stay overnight at Tulum. This allows you skip the tourist hoards and get the ruins almost for yourself, presenting opportunities to snap some great photographs without any people filling the frames! The temperature and humidity would be conducive as well, as it peaks closer to noon.
If you are reaching by means of a rented car, the official parking lot is a reliable place to keep your car, but it is expensive – 70 MXN ! Compare this to the Entry ticket at 65 MXN per person. There is a 5 minute walk from the Parking area to the Ticket Counter. This can be covered in a tractor pulled train for 20 MXN per person if you are in a hurry.
How to Reach Tulum?
The closest well connected major airport is Cancún. From here you can either rent a car and self drive to Tulum. We opted for this option and rented our car from National Car Rental. Otherwise, you can opt for a Private Transfer to Tulum offered by many Travel Agents, bookable online in advance. Or if in already in Cancun city, you can take Tourist bus that runs this route.
Where to Stay?
Being close to the protected environmental zone, most accommodation in Tulum are Eco-friendly and expensive. We stayed in a small Boutique hotel, with just 8 Rooms and a Private Beach called Piedra Escondida. Nightly rate was ~Rs 18K including breakfast. The room was right on the beach and had beautiful unobstructed view of the beach. Another reason for choosing this hotel was the Private Parking lot offered by the hotel. If you see the Google street maps, you’ll realise that the hotels and shops are located on either side of a one lane road. So parking is difficult to find.